How can we be food heroes?

How can we be food heroes?
Today, the 16th October, is #WorldFoodDay. A yearly event founded by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, it was organised to bring awareness to how our changing planet affects food production and distribution.
This is really important to us at Goodery, and is one of the key drivers behind our existence!
Globally, there has been progress towards reducing hunger worldwide, starting with the Millennium Development Goals and then centralised into the Sustainable Development Goals, but there are major concerns that COVID is about to put that into severe and potentially long term jeopardy. COVID has disrupted many of the supply chains essential to reach those who are already suffering hunger, and the impact of the pandemic will make existing long term and short term climate-related crises - such as droughts, flooding and pest swarms - much worse. COVID is also reducing the ability to get food supplies to the places where needed.
This year, more than ever, we have become aware of our reliance on food supply and food chains. Here in East Anglia, for the first time in years, we saw supermarket shelves cleared of pasta, flour and rice (as well as toilet paper!) as lockdown fears hit the population.
Our food production chains farm to fork have become international in the last few decades. And the UK's dependence on international food is significant. But East Anglia is the centre of much of our agricultural production in the UK, and there are many innovations in food production being developed such as Hodmedods (bringing old varieties of peas and other legumes into the market using farmer relationships and science).
At Goodery, we're supporting local food production and bringing you the best of what East Anglia has to offer when it comes to healthy food, but without the high cost to our planet from emissions, deforestation and complicated supply chains.
Inspired to take action? Here are ways you can get involved and show your support to our food heroes:
    A healthy diet helps create a healthy life. When we choose to eat diverse foods, we encourage a variety of foods to be produced. This is not only healthier for our bodies, but healthier for soils and our environment because a diverse diet favours biodiversity!
    Why not use your social media platform to promote healthy eating and buying habits? You can get people talking about important events like World Food Day using the official hashtag, #WorldFoodDay and create a buzz for #FoodHeroes. Not online? Word of mouth spreads fast and can be just as effective!
    Anyone can be an ally to food heroes. Look for volunteer opportunities at your local food bank or community kitchen. It’s a great way to be involved in collective action and support those who struggle to access food.
    Whenever you can, support food heroes by buying locally grown fresh food. By doing this you are helping smallholder farmers that produced the food, your local economy, and you are encouraging crop diversity. Did you know that you reduce your carbon footprint when you buy produce that’s in season? When food is out of season in one part of the world it has to be imported and travel a long way before it arrives at your local market. Eating seasonal food can also be riper, tastier and more nutritious!
    If you have a green space at home, access to a garden, or a balcony with space for plant pots, you can learn how to grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs. You’ll learn a lot about how food is produced and gain more appreciation for all the work that goes into cultivating produce.
    Food loss and waste can occur throughout the food system, once it arrives at your table – you can play your part! Learning how to store uneaten food properly for another day’s meal is one way to avoid wasting perfectly good food.
    Everyone can be an activist and put pressure on governments, private sector businesses and decision-makers to transform our food systems by making healthy food options more enticing, available and accessible; providing decent employment and protection; and sharing innovative technologies.

Keep an eye out because we'll be spotlighting more of our local growers at Goodery over the coming weeks, so you can learn more about who grew your food. And let us know in the comments any other tips or ideas on how we can all be food heroes.

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